, 2014

Four Lancaster High grapplers
place at Group A championships

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

Lancaster High took seven wrestlers and had four place in the Group A state wrestling championships in Salem last weekend.

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Shane Chambers
Kai Antonio
Colton Hayden
Brad Smith
Junior Shane Chambers took fifth in the Group A tournament as the Red Devils’ top finisher. Junior Brad Smith and senior Kai Antonio each placed seventh and senior Colton Hayden finished eighth.

“We had a really tightly-knit group of young men this year,” said LHS coach Craig Oren. “Everyone who placed this year was a couple of points from placing last year. This was a tough, determined squad who rose to many challenges throughout the season.”

Lancaster and the Northern Neck District’s Washington & Lee both scored 32 points at the state tournament and tied with William Monroe for 22nd place. Northampton had the highest team finish among Region A teams, scoring 86 points for fifth place.

Chambers, who was the Region A champion at 182 pounds, won an 8-4 decision over Josh Savoie of William Monroe in the fifth-place round. A returning state contender, Chambers went 26-4 on the year for the Devils and was 4-2 at the state meet.

“Shane has been dedicated to the program all year. His determination and focus helped him to put together a good state tournament,” said Oren.

Smith, who was also the regional champion, beat Dylan Hitt of Rappahannock County by decision, 6-4, in the seventh-place match among 152-pounders. He went 3-2 at the tournament.

“Brad was very focused on his goal of placing in state this year,” said Oren. “This became apparent when, down by a considerable margin in a match, he pinned his opponent with 30 seconds left.”

Antonio, who went 3-2 for the tourney, also won by decision, 9-3, over Kaelin Echols of Chatham in the seventh-place match at 195 pounds.

“Kai has wrestled well all year. His energy and enthusiasm helped propel him to the seventh-place finish,” said Oren.

Everett Vest of Graham pinned Hayden in the seventh-place match in the 220 weight class. Hayden was 2-3 for the tournament to finish eighth in the medal round.

“Colton is an athletic senior who came back from an ankle injury last year to wrestle tough all year for us,” said Oren. “His dedication to the team has been a huge boost for everyone.”

Lancaster also qualified senior Sam Friday, junior Thomas Hyde and freshman Sam Bouis for the state tournament. Friday was the Region A champion at 160, while Hyde (170) and Bouis (285) both finished fourth at regionals.

“Sam Friday has wrestled for Lancaster in the middle and high school programs for over seven years,” said Oren. “He wrestled well [at states] and while he came up a little short of his goals, he has been a rock for the program. Thomas got a tough draw in his bracket, but never backed down. He wrestled tough against some stout competition.

“Sam Bouis is a promising freshman, and we are very excited that he got a chance to compete at this level at such a young age. We have high hopes for him going forward,” he added.

Northumberland qualified six for the state meet with none of them placing. The Indians’ qualifiers included Aaron Curry (138), Billy Pipkin (113), Jordan Chinn (145), Philip Harrison (170), Kevin Hanks (120) and Cody Jackson (160).

“I’m very encouraged with the effort and hunger for success that this team demonstrated this season. We are well on our way  in the process of  bringing this program  to a championship level,” said NHS coach Matt Carney.

Team results

1. Grundy 143, 2. Strasburg 128, 3. Manassas Park 121, 4. Rural Retreat 90.5, 5. Northampton 86, 6. Parry McCluer 80, 7. Castlewood 59, 8. Clarke County 67.5, 9. James River 54, 10. Riverheads 51, 11. Central-Wise 50, 12. tie, King William and Eastside 48, 14. J.I. Burton 47, 15. Chatham 46, 16. Chilhowie 44.5, 17. Appomattox County 37, 18. Stonewall Jackson 34, 19. tie, Mathews and Holston 33, 21. Stuarts Draft 32.5, 22. tie, William Monroe, Lancaster, Washington & Lee 32, 25. George Wythe 30, 26. Radford 28, 27. Graham 23, 28. Central-Woodstock 22.5, 29. tie, Patrick Henry-Glade Spring and Nottoway, 21, 31. tie, Lebanon, Middlesex, East Rockingham and Covington, 20, 35. Galax 18, 36. tie, Madison County and Grayson County 16, 38. tie, Floyd County and George Mason 11, 40. tie, Northumberland and Wilson Memorial 10, 42. tie, Northwood and Nandua 8, 44. Rappahannock 6.5, 45. John Battle 6, 46. Glenvar 4, 47. tie, Virginia High, Essex and Lee, 3. 50. tie, Rye Cove and Franklin 1.

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